Sky Sherman

ENST 246 : Environmental Activism

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 685 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    28
    people
    helped
  • up to
    60
    plastic straws
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    460
    minutes
    being mindful
  • up to
    946
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • up to
    28
    meatless or vegan meals
    consumed
  • up to
    280
    minutes
    spent exercising
  • up to
    310
    minutes
    spent outdoors
  • up to
    1
    documentaries
    watched
  • up to
    2
    lightbulbs
    replaced
  • up to
    230
    miles
    not traveled by car
  • up to
    1,515
    gallons of water
    have been saved
  • up to
    90
    minutes
    spent learning

Challenges

Waste

Skip the Straw

Plastic bags and small plastic pieces like straws are most likely to get swept into our waterways. I will keep 2 plastic straw(s) out of the landfill and ocean each day by refusing straws or using my own glass/metal straw.

COMPLETED 30 OF 90
DAILY CHALLENGE

Simplicity

Meditate

I will meditate or create a moment of silence for 20 minute(s) each day to reflect on things important to me.

COMPLETED 23 OF 90
DAILY CHALLENGE

Energy

Switch to Cold Water

I will switch to washing my clothes in cold water, saving up to 1,600 lbs of C02 over the course of the next year.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Health

Happiness

I will write down three things every day that I am grateful for, or send one email every day thanking or praising someone.

COMPLETED 30 OF 90
DAILY CHALLENGE

Food

Watch a Documentary about Food Sovereignty

I will watch 1 documentary(ies) about food sovereignty: the right of local peoples to control their own food systems including markets, ecological resources, food cultures and production methods.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Transportation

Drive Less

I will cut my car trip mileage by only taking necessary trips.

COMPLETED 23 OF 90
DAILY CHALLENGE

Energy

Power Down the Computer

I will power down my computer and monitor when not using it for more than 2 hours, saving up to (1.1) lbs of CO2 each day that I do this.

COMPLETED 23 OF 90
DAILY CHALLENGE

Food

Reduce Animal Products

I will enjoy 2 meatless meal(s) and/or 0 vegan meal(s) each day this week.

COMPLETED 14 OF 90
DAILY CHALLENGE

Nature

Explore My Area

I will explore at least one new hiking trail or nature walk in my area.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Water

Fix Leaky Faucets

I will fix faucets or report leaky faucets to facilities that have been wasting up to 9 gallons (34 L) of water per faucet every day.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Nature

Go for a Daily Walk

I will take a 20-minute walk outside each day.

COMPLETED 14 OF 90
DAILY CHALLENGE

Community

Help Others

I will offer to help 2 person(s) who are in need each day.

COMPLETED 14 OF 90
DAILY CHALLENGE

Water

5-Minute Showers

I will save up to 20 gallons (75 L) of water each day by taking 5-minute showers.

COMPLETED 6 OF 90
DAILY CHALLENGE

Health

Go get a check up

I will make an appointment for my annual physical.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Simplicity

De-Clutter My Home or Dorm Room

I will de-clutter, clean, and donate or recycle unneeded items in my home or dorm room.

COMPLETED 6 OF 90
DAILY CHALLENGE

Energy

Choose LED Bulbs

I will replace 2 incandescent lightbulb(s) with Energy Star-certified LED bulbs, saving up to $14 per fixture per year.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Feed


  • Sky Sherman 3/06/2019 9:18 AM
    Going into and working through the last week, the biggest challenge for sure was keeping track and making sure that you are following through on each and every challenge we selected so far. This week I decided to add the daily challenge of decluttering my dorm room here at school. I actually really enjoyed this challenge in the fact that I felt much more put together and on top of things when my room seemed clean and less crowded that I felt that good energy carried on with me throughout the rest of the day. I feel as though this is definitely a challenge that I am going to continue on after this class activity and make it a part of my everyday life. The second daily challenge that I added this week was to take five minute showers. I was nervous about this challenge because I really like taking my time in the shower, however I wasn’t as hard as I thought. I realized I don’t spend that much longer than five minutes in the shower if I am efficient already, so it didn’t become much of a change for the most part other than if I needed to really take a long one, and in that case I just turned the water off when I didn’t exactly need it. The one-time challenges that I added this week were first being to get a check up. I found this as a good reason to make sure I am up to date on everything and the health center gladly helped me with this here at school. It was super simple and a great way to make sure I wasn’t sick or anything like that. The last daily challenge that I added this week was to change my light bulbs to LED ones. While I only live in a small dorm room, and can’t really get access to the lights that are in our rooms on the ceiling, I do have a desk lamp as well as a standing lamp in my room that I changed the lightbulbs in. It was a super simple task that doesn’t really affect much in my day to day life but is still making a difference which is exciting. From the activities that I added this week, I think they are all pretty easy ones to implement into my daily lifestyle which is super exciting. I can easily take shorter showers, use LED lights, get check-ups regularly and as I said before make sure my room is decluttered. Some things I learned from the resources of these new activities first included the first article being LED Lighting, which straight off the bat informed me that LED light bulbs use up for 90% less energy than a regular light bulb. That was absolutely crazy to hear and definitely a good reason to use them rather than the ordinary one.  The second resource I read was called Why Decluttering is Good for Your Health. Within this the author explained, that decluttering allows people to be less stressed, have less anxiety, more inner peace and self confidence, stronger decision making skills, improved health habits and better sleep. That list alone is a billion things that I along with most people especially in college deal with on a regular basis and something as simple as decluttering lowering that is a great thing. 

  • Sky Sherman 2/27/2019 11:08 AM
    Within this week, another whole level of challenges were added to the eco challenges in which we had already chose from the past two weeks. Personally I felt as though it made it much more difficult to keep track of everything and to remember and make sure I was doing everything each day. This week I added a few more new challenges. The first being that I would offer to help 2 others on a daily basis. While slightly on the easier side, this really forced me to think about others and make sure to go out of my way rather than just going through my days without thinking what I could be doing for others. While I may have been doing this action without the extra eco challenge it's a nice reminder to make sure that I am doing it. The second challenge that I added this week was to go for a daily walk. I have been taking the longer way to classes when priorly I would do anything to avoid a long walk or to be out in the cold and I truthfully have been enjoying the fresh air and change of pace greatly. Not only is it another for of exercise but also it is truly enjoyable. The third daily challenge that I added this week was to eat two meals a day without animal products. I really didn’t think this would be that hard, however I truly forgot how many things have meat in them. After looking at all of my daily options for food I got into a routine of what I ate each day including salads, grain bowls, etc and it became much easier and more attainable, however I don’t know how feasible it will be to continue with my lifestyle. The one-time challenges that i added included, first the challenge of exploring my area. I took a trip to Penn state this past weekend, ( where I carpooled- i.e drive less challenge). When I was there I think I walked more in one weekend then I have in a while, Penn state is a place where I don’t go often and is quite large so I don’t exactly know where I am or where to go at all times. Spending time traveling and walking and exploring gave me a chance to experience and learn about a new place I once before was unaware of. The second one-time challenge that I added way to fix a leaky faucet. In my bathroom on the hall of my dorm I noticed that there was a leaky faucet. I simply called up facilities and they fixed it for me! It was something that I didn’t have to do much for, but helped conserve water within a great amount. Of all of the challenges that I added this week I feel as though most of them I can continue within my own life, the challenges of helping others, walking more, and exploring my area are all things that I can certainly take the time to do and implement into my daily activities with no problem. In regards to the other two, I don’t know how many other leaky faucets I can fix, but when I do see them I plan on trying my best to get someone to fix them. In the regards to meatless meals, I will certainly try to be more conscious but I truly don’t see myself cutting it out of my diet completely. Some information that I gained while reading some of the resources from the eco challenge site were first being an article called, Walking off Depression and beating stress outdoors?, this article helped me gain the knowledge on how helpful simply being outside and walking around can be. The calming of the air and the simplicity of simple exercise is distressing and helpful to one’s body and soul. This article alone gave me just another reason on why I should implement this activity into my daily life. Another resource that I read included the article Plant Rich Diet, this reading discussed what switching to a plant diet can help including global warming, decrease of global emissions, and help of climate change. This was really interesting to think about, prior I only thought that switching to a plant-based diet only helped save animals, not our climate change and global warming as well. Overall, this week while challenging I learned alot about myself and am looking forward to the new challenges to come in the upcoming final week.

  • Sky Sherman 2/20/2019 10:31 AM
    Within the past week, adding the additional three challenges and one more one-time challenge truly added another level of difficulty that was already presented within the last week. The daily challenges that I added include meditating for 20 minutes each day. This task while didn’t seem that hard truly allowed me to set out a specific amount of time where I could just sit to myself and reflect and think without other things going on and it was truly helpful. Sometimes it was difficult to set aside time, however it ended up being helpful in my overall well being i'm sure. The next daily challenge I added to my week was to drive less. I have a car on campus right now, and while I don’t drive it that often, I decided to use this as an opportunity to cut out the useless trips that are truly unneeded and unnecessary. Things such as being bored and going to get food for no reason were things that I decided to cut out. At first this was hard because I truly do love driving to dunkin for my coffee however, I easily was able to get my coffee fix many places on campus without the wasted drive and use of my car. The third daily challenge I added was to power down my computer while I wasn’t using it. I figured when choosing this one that it wouldn’t be very difficult and for the most part I was correct. However, something I did have to get used to was the extra 2 min it took to start up again when I wanted to use it. I know this isn’t that much time and it really isn’t that big of a deal, but it was something I had to get used to for sure. Lastly, my added one time challenge was to watch a documentary about food sovereignty. The documentary I decided to watch was called regaining food sovereignty which I found right on the eco challenge website under the learn more tab on my challenge. This was a super simple task that only took an hour of my time and was truly interesting. I learned about the different food systems in some northern minnesota native communities along with learning about how tribal nations worked towards a healthful living and it was super interesting. These tasks on top of my prior tasks of writing down three things I am grateful for and not using disposable straws was quite the challenge but I truly feel good about helping the environment. Overall, I really enjoy the meditating every day as it is super calming and I can see myself continuing it in the future. Along with only using my car for necessary trips as well. Some of the sources that I read included the Shrink your dorm print article in which it described ways to declutter and use things you're definitely need along with giving your laptop a rest which is exactly what this challenge entailed. Another source that I read was the one under the mediation challenge called simply, How to Meditate. Reading this gave me a much better understanding on what exactly meditating was and simple ways to do it involving the way you breath and sit. e Overall I know these challenges are going to continue to get harder as we add more and more but I am up for the challenge as it is something totally different than anything else I have done before. 

    • Allison Rhyu 2/28/2019 11:20 AM
      After seeing what both you and Campbell had to say in her Eco-Challenge response about meditation, I am definitely growing more aware of the positive impacts of setting some time aside every day to meditate. With school being quite stressful at times, especially at this time of the semester with mid term exams, extracurriculars, and job applications, it’s easy to feel stressed out and overwhelmed. Especially since meditation is an extremely light time commitment, I definitely want to set the time aside each day to clear my head space, and have noticed from both of your responses the positive impacts it has on mental health. I definitely agree that it may be difficult to set time aside, and I’m looking into allotting time for it into my Google Calendar. Additionally, I may look into watching the documentary you mentioned about food sovereignty, Regaining Food Sovereignty. While I have watched Food Inc. a few years back for a class, I still have so much to learn about food systems and sovereignty. I definitely want to learn more about how tribal nations are working towards a more healthful lifestyle, as it can definitely give me more tips on working towards a more healthful diet from a different perspective. Since my Eco-Challenge is largely focused on making changes to my diet, such as reducing processed foods, reducing my sugar intake, and consuming at least one meat-free meal a day, I want to watch this documentary to see what further changes I could potentially make to continue to create a healthful diet for myself. (Word count: 260)

    • Dayane Da Silva 2/24/2019 4:48 PM
      Hi Sky! Your post was extremely interesting and very relatable, I also felt that adding these additional challenges were incredibly difficult and really forced me to break out of my comfort zone and test my abilities. I found very interesting the meditation time that you set aside for your daily challenge. Like yourself, I’ve always liked the idea of meditating but similarly I always found it very challenging to fit it into my busy schedule. But after hearing about your positive experience with meditation and learning that you also thought you would have a difficult time fitting it in your schedule, I will be thinking about adding that as one of my upcoming challenges. Additionally, I could really relate to cutting down on useless car rides! I also have a car here on campus and I must admit that most of my car trips has to do with getting food. So, you make a great point of ways to cut back on these useless car rides by getting something to eat here on campus or maybe even walking to a place downtown instead of driving. This would ultimately help us safe a lot of money on gas. Also, I found it very interesting that your one-time challenge was to watch a documentary about food sovereignty, because that is also my one-time challenge for this week. So, reading your post and hearing about the documentary that you have watched about regaining food sovereignty, seemed very interesting to me and it also gave me an idea about what I could watch for my own one-time challenge. Overall, I would commend you on your tasks, I know that they can be quite difficult, but you seem like you have them well under control. 

  • Sky Sherman 2/14/2019 8:44 AM
    Over the past week, I was super apprehensive about starting this part of the class. It made me nervous to think about making changes to my life but I was also excited to start something new and out of my comfort zone. The first task that I decided to tackle was to stop using plastic straws in my drinks. At first, it didn’t seem that hard as I don’t drink many cold drinks during the week, during this time of year. However, once I reached the weekend, it got a little more difficult. I tend to spend my saturday and sunday mornings getting coffee and other things from Dunkin donuts, and this weekend I had the challenge of not drinking my iced drinks with plastic straws. Instead I decided to ask for my drink in a hot cup, avoiding the straws all together or just opting for a drink that doesn’t require a straw. Other than that, the issue isn’t that big of a deal and maybe in the future I will invest in a tumblr of my own so to avoid the plastic cups and straws all together. The second task that I decided to conquer was a task of writing down three things everyday that I am grateful for. I picked this for one, because I thought it would be an easier start to ease into the weeks ahead, however it actually surprised me. I never have really sat down each day to think about what I’m grateful for and it was actually more difficult than I thought. It made me realize that I am a lucky person to have the opportunities and things I have in my life that I truly never thought about before which was a good thing. Lastly, my one-time challenge was to wash my clothes on cold water. The only barrier I had with this was wondering if tide pods worked in cold water. After a quick google search I was happy to hear they work in any temperature and the cold water worked just as well as any hot water, and since its environmentally friendly, I don’t see a reason not to use cold water to wash my clothes! Overall, the tasks that I chose for the week weren’t that difficult and seem like all things that shouldn’t be that hard to continue to implement in my future life. One of the sources I read was called, the benefits of gratitude Journals, and it showed me a list of all the good things that come from writing down one’s thoughts including less stress, and better focus. After reading this it just makes me want to implement this more into my life. The second source I read was, More recycling won’t solve plastic pollution, it went into detail that recycling isn’t really the solution, but rather that just avoiding those products in general is. If people don’t use them there won’t be a need for recycling and that just puts everything even more ahead. This makes me even more willing to purchase a travel tumblr for my cold drinks to avoid things like straws and plastic cups within the future.